Let’s forget the fact that telecommuting or remote working allows you to ignore any and all social conventions regarding personal hygiene. Yes, you can work-at-home in stained sweat suits, not shower for days and avoid socializing with anything that doesn’t have fur and is beyond your front door. Although all those things might seem like benefits, they are in fact disadvantages. But, what are the other reasons that make remote working harder than you think? Yes, besides losing your last Cheeto behind the couch.
We live in the internet age, and we are more communicatively connected than any other epoch in time. And we genuinely suck at it, unless we are talking about disseminating sucrose sweet motivational quotes and videos of cats being startled by cucumbers. No matter how many apps, programs and high-speed connections we have, our connectivity is still just an augmentation of old school face to face interactions.
It is tough to stay in the loop if it is intertwined with photo optic strands (that’s what they use to get the internet to you). Water cooler chats, lunch room rumors and office buzz are invaluable sources of information that won’t be available to you because you are outside the workplace. This break-down or more appropriate “filter” of communication can result in you learning about things too late, missing information that might help your task or projects and even feeling a bit left out, but that’s more of an ego thing…
On the coattail of the previous entry, although I boasted of the benefits of technology, Newton’s third law states, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So no matter how well versed and proficient you are at the tools of your trade, there will be that one person you will need to speak with that is as proficient at setting up a teleconference as they are explaining the nuances of the multiverse theory in theoretical physics.
It would have been more efficient just to meet with this technologically impaired person than to spend hours on the phone telling them to click on My Computer to which they respond, How would I click on your computer; you’re in an entirely different state? It’s immensely frustrating, but just another reality of working in your bathrobe, which I’d like to point out is open wide enough for me to see what God blessed you with…erm, I mean cursed you with.
Although you have a unicorn and marshmallows perception of the world, the truth is that most people don’t give a fly flipping flak about other people. Why is this relevant when talking about the problems that plague people that work remotely/from home? Well, here’s a hypothetical scenario that I’m sure most telecommuters have experienced. Its 6 in the afternoon, it’s time to log-off and shut down so you go into your bedroom to change out of your work robe and into your home robe. Suddenly your phone goes nuts; you check it and there are 7 messages from your boss all of which are asking why you aren’t on Skype.
You log on, explain to your boss that you are in fact off work, and that’s why you are logged off, which he ignores while he starts a 2 hour long conversation about how a link on the website turns purple when you click it and is convinced that this is an indication that the website was hacked. Now imagine that scenario if the time difference between you and your boss were 3 hours, it would be 9 pm when he contacted you, making it 11 pm by the time your “It turns purple because it shows you it’s been clicked” “So they’re also tracking us!” conversation is done. Say you have 7 hours…that would start your conversation at 1 a.m…This is probably due to two things, first your boss is an asshole without any regard for his employees’ personal life or second your boss is an asshole without any regard for the fact that his remote workers might be in a different time zone.
Do you know of any other problems that you might experience working remotely? Let us know in the comment section below.